Police Inspector Nick Cafmeyer will never stop being nine years old, not really. For that’s the year that his younger brother went missing and was never seen again. Though police believed they had the culprit in a known local sex offender they were never able to prove anything conclusively, and Cafmeyer has had to live with the culprit nearby for the rest of his life. And so, decades later, when a nine-year-old child goes missing, it should come as no surprise that Cafmeyer’s determination to crack the case borders on obsessive, with his gaze locked firm on the suspect in his own brother’s disappearance.
Adapted from the novel of the same name by Mo Hayder, Hans Herbots’ THE TREATMENT proved a huge hit at the Belgian box office, demonstrating that the wave of high end crime thrillers currently sweeping Europe is not at all confined to Scandinavia. Much like the recent wave of Nordic Noir, THE TREATMENT is driven by complex characters and a pitch black heart. The stakes are high and personal, the cost of failure extreme, the human capacity for evil equally so. Blessed with strong performances from top to bottom and a firm directorial hand in the experienced Herbots—a veteran of both film and high end television—THE TREATMENT is the sort of filmmaking that thrived on American screens throughout the ‘70s, but now has been driven away by exhibitors and studios more interested in drawing teenage dollars than catering to more complex tastes.